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Before making a luxury or designer purchase, I put in a fair bit of research. These purchases typically command significant amounts of hard-earned cash so I spend the time performing my necessary due diligence checks to ensure I’m making the right choice. I’ll read several blog reviews, browse Pinterest for street style imagery, and where possible, I’ll pop into a store to physically inspect and try the piece I’m after.
Back in the day, I wasn’t one to shy away from a designer purchase and in hindsight, I probably went a little overboard in my junior lawyer years! While I’ve collected some real gems that I still use today and managed to rotate a fair few pieces by selling a lot of my lightly worn items, I made some purchases that didn’t end up being the wisest, either due to the fact that they were a bit too trendy, or because they could only be used for a specific purpose, meaning they wouldn’t get much use. Had cost-per-wear been part of the equation like it is today, I wouldn’t have bought more than half the items that I did!
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So here are the designer purchases that didn’t quite work for me:
#1 – Clutches
The amount of times I think to myself “oh, a clutch would go nice with this outfit” are few and far between. Even before COVID and during the height of wedding/engagement party season in my late-20s, clutches never seemed to hold everything that I wanted to carry so I would end up opting for a smaller designer bag instead (such as my Chanel medium flap).
Despite this, I used to justify purchasing expensive designer clutches because a) they were cheaper than getting a proper bag and b) they always look so cute on display! Considering how much I didn’t use them, in hindsight, I could have just saved those pennies to put towards a proper bag that gets much more use.
#2 – Occasion dresses
Since transitioning from attending weddings to attending kids parties (hello responsibility, goodbye freedom), the one area of my wardrobe that has hardly had a look-in has been occasion wear. All those expensive gowns and cocktail dresses from a previous life have been hanging in my wardrobe to mock me of my new life and the fact that my post-baby body doesn’t fit them anymore! And it’s an area of my wardrobe where I invested some serious cash and has absolutely appalling cost-per-wear (such as one-wear Zimmermann dresses). If I had my time again, I would have definitely gone down the path of hiring dresses to wear for those events and borrowing much more from my friends.
#3 – Christian Louboutin Heels
I don’t mean to name names but this is one name that I really couldn’t overlook. One word – ouch.
My very first pair of Louboutins – the Pigalle Follies 100 – gave me a generous collection of blisters after an hour of wearing them that I would be overcome with ‘blister anxiety’ every time I considered wearing them again. My subsequent pairs have been no higher than 85mm (Pigalle Follies 85 in Black Patent and Navy Degraspike) and while the lower heel height makes a difference, they’re still a pretty uncomfortable option and I only reach for them when I know I won’t be wearing them for very long.
While I consider myself a pretty rational person, the problem I faced with Christian Louboutin heels was the fact that I blindly placed the label high up on a pedestal. In my first year of practice, I spotted a few female lawyers that I admired in court wearing the infamous red-soled shoes and that was it – I was totally sucked into the hype. And in my defence, it was hard not to be! The shoes are stunningly beautiful and the red sole makes such a statement.
If I had my time again, I would have spared myself ‘blister anxiety’ and opted for comfier designer alternatives. Thankfully, I’ve been spared such anxiety with my other designer shoes, including my Chanel slingbacks and Valentino rockstuds, that I still very much enjoy today.